Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC
Mualle ~ Turkish Eggplant Lentil Stew
This marvelous veggie stew from Southern Turkey is richly flavored, creamy-textured, and simply delicious. A hit of mild chili gives it some gentle heat, while pomegranate molasses lends a sweet and complex finish. Enjoy mualle as an entrée or side dish on a mezze table. Make mualle a little in advance to allow its flavors to meld and deepen fully. Pair it with a batch of whole wheat yufka, a Turkish flatbread, for a truly memorable meal. Whole food plant-based, gluten-free with no sugar, salt, oils.
Prep time 30 minutes Passive Cooking time 90 minutes Serves 3-4
2 young Italian eggplants, about 1 ½ pounds
½ cup green lentils
2 cups no-sodium veggie broth
1 medium onion, small dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
White wine or dry vermouth or no-sodium veggie broth to deglaze pan
2 large tomatoes, medium dice or 2 ½ cups grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 jalapeño or 2 poblano or Annaheim peppers, seeded and chopped
2 ½ Tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons mild chili flakes from Aleppo or Kashmiri peppers or ¼ teaspoon red peperoncino
flakes, or to taste
2 Tablespoons aka (red) miso•
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
- Miso is a good salt alternative that helps to lower blood pressure (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5313421/#:~:text=Miso%2C%20which%20is%20made%20from,%2C%20including%20salt%2Dsensitive%20hypertension.).
There is no need to pre-salt or peel today’s eggplants, as modern variants are sweet and its peel, with all its healthy fiber, is tender and digestible. Cut off eggplant stems, slight lengthwise in ½” slices and then cut each slice in thirds. Set aside.
Rinse lentils. Add to a small pot, cover with broth by 1-1 1/2”, bring to a boil and lower to a gentle simmer until soft but intact (15-20 minutes). Drain and reserve cooking broth.
In a skillet, dry sauté the onion over medium heat until they soften and begin to darken the pan. Deglaze with a splash of wine/vermouth/broth, dissolving all the carmelized sugars adhered to the pan with a wooden spoon.
Add the garlic, tomatoes, fresh chilis, mint, stirring. Cook for 2 minutes then add chili flakes tomato paste and miso, stirring well to dissolve into the mix. Cover and cook on low for a few minutes more until tomatoes and softened, releasing their juices. Taste to adjust seasonings as you like. Set aside.
In a deeper or larger skillet, layer the mualle as follow:
- Spread ½ cup of the sauté over the surface of the pan.
- Using half the eggplant, lay down a layer of eggplant.
- Layer on ½ the cooked lentils.
- Then spread on half of the remaining sauté.
- Place down the remaining eggplant.
- Top with the remaining lentils.
- Then spread on the remaining sauté.
Pour the lentil cooking water evenly over the layered mualle.
Do the same with the pomegranate molasses.
On the stovetop, bring the mualle to a gentle boil, cover, and lower to a VERY low simmer and cook for 90 minutes. The eggplant will become meltingly soft during this time. Taste for doneness. Remove from heat. Allow a few hours to cool before serving at room temp or heated.